For those of you thinking that French cuisine is all about fine wine and age old cooking traditions, think again. If you are on the lookout for gastronomic innovation, Montpellier’s Tamarillos is the restaurant to visit. The motto here is “fruit and flowers” as all dishes, whether it be sweet or savoury, starter or desert, promise to be instilled with some form of flower or fruit. This equates to unanticipated flavour combinations, and delicious consequences.
The mastermind behind Tamarillos is Chef Philippe Chapon, the double ‘Champion of Desserts’ in France. For those of you dubious of his creations, Chapon’s experience may convince you of his fine expertise. He worked for as the Pastry chef at the world famous Guy Savoy for twelve years, studied at Dinards, was the head pastry chef for four years at the prestigious Maisone Parisieene, and has worked with top chefs, such as Gordon Ramsay, to help them perfect their desert recipes. With such remarkable experience behind him, it was Chapon’s passion for fruit that inspired him to open such a unique restaurant, and has earned him the title of creative genius.
The menu of Tamarillos is truly inspired; Salmon served in pastry with oranges, langoustines drizzled in sweet strawberry juice, or perhaps rich chestnut soup for a winters evening. The presentation of each dish is impeccable. Pansy sprinkled risotto, lamb garnished with rose petal, Phillippe is a perfectionist who makes sure each of his creations and assembled to combine the perfect colour, forms, smells textures and tastes. Yet, don’t fill up too quickly, as it is really the deserts that will make you weak at the knees.
The intention of Tamarillos is to create an atmosphere that immediately awakens all of the senses, and every aspect of the decor exudes zest and originality. As soon as you walk in, you will be struck by the decoration of the restaurant; the interior is of contemporary, with the theme being colour and reflection. The tables are coloured but yet transparent, especially designed with light projecting upwards from the base, to shine through the glass plates. The restaurant is aligned with light illuminated pillars, which constantly change color. With only twenty tables, the restaurant is personal and intimate, in order to make every customer feel like an invited guest.